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Nottingham Emmanuel School - Case Study
The Nottingham Emmanuel School - equipping a pioneering new technical school with professional-standard IT
IT Upgrade for Nottingham Emmanuel School
Seven years after being built, it was time to refresh the school’s IT

Nottingham Emmanuel School deliver the highest teaching standards alongside strong, inclusive Christian values and ethos. They believe that building values and character is just as important as supporting their pupils’ academic development.

For their original new school build in 2008, they had commissioned XMA to provide for all of their IT requirements.

 This included everything from the server structure and networking to the wireless and switching solutions – all of which was HP hardware. 
Wif Fenwick, Business Manager for Nottingham Emmanuel School

XMA won the original contract for the school’s IT provision, under European tender. Their holistic solution, based on their designs for the best IT solutions, was managed efficiently, and XMA even provided an onsite IT technician to the school to ensure everything ran smoothly.

After the school was opened, XMA organised an ‘enrichment opportunity’ for pupils, and the packed audience had the chance to listen to NASA Astronaut, Ron Garan describe his experiences in outer space.

NASA Astronaut Ron Garan shares his Orbital Perspective with students and staff
NASA Astronaut, Ron Garan shares his Orbital Perspective with students and staff

As incredible testament to the sustainability of the original solution, eight years after opening, and without an IT upgrade since this time, the school decided that it was time to refresh their facilities. They embarked upon a replacement IT programme, which involved installing new servers, switches and Wi-Fi.

Selecting the best IT supplier was a three-way competition

They had three specific requirements for their new IT: it needed to provide a lot more file space; it should be as futureproofed as possible (hopefully enough to last the next five years); and it must provide a new back-up solution for the school’s data requirements.

The school approached three different suppliers for quotes, and found that XMA provided the best value offer.

 We love XMA and already knew that they do a good job, so it was an easy decision to choose them. We brought XMA in and they conducted an IT design study for us, which highlighted the opportunity for us to make use of virtualisation to get the most from our IT budget. After a rigorous tendering process, XMA was selected to be the school's IT supplier once more. 
Wif Fenwick, Business Manager for Nottingham Emmanuel School

The IT refreshment project was split into two phases: Firstly, new Wi-Fi was provided, which proved a challenge for such a large, technology led school. We selected HP because we know how secure, fast and stable their solutions are. The deciding factors were HP’s far superior reliability, straightforward scalability and ease of management across all of the school’s requirements. We were all confident in HP.

The complex project was managed well by XMA, as Wilf explains. "The Wi-Fi took some time to get right, however XMA kept us fully informed and resolved any issues efficiently."

The second stage of the project was to implement Virtualisation of the HP servers, which meant reducing the number of servers from 39 to just 5. XMA completed the project to budget and on time, working through the school’s holidays, and had the new IT ready for the beginning of the new school year. The school has been able to use HP's latest technology to find new ways of solving old problems, with many benefits. "It's great to have a really secure IT system, the speed and reliability we get from HP is superb," explained Wilf. "We just get on with managing the school and running the educational projects, because the HP systems work so well that we never have to stop and think about it."

Quicker response times, more secure and increased IT stability

Wilf has been pleased with the results for a number of reasons. "Our new virtualisation panels make it easier to check on servers," he explained. "We are able to see an issue forming before it arrives, and there are far fewer issues with our servers than before – in fact we've not had an issue to resolve yet."

Thanks to XMA’s services, The Nottingham Emmanuel School are able to utilise their IT to deliver their lessons efficiently, in new and creative ways. Students are encouraged to create rather than consume media, and even have their very own TV station, Shine TV. The new servers facilitate the storage of multi-media, which means that they can share and access their projects easily, at any time.

 As a result of XMA’s work, our IT has become faster, stabler and easier to control. Since the upgrade, our teachers are able to delivering lessons without any technical interruptions, and because our IT is working so well I haven’t had to call on XMA to resolve any issues for over a year. 
Wif Fenwick, Business Manager for Nottingham Emmanuel School

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